Food Grains Shortage: A Myth or Mismanagement

India’s fourth good harvest in a row has swelled wheat stocks to 31 million tonnes, almost eight times its target of 4 million, forcing authorities to pile up nearly 7 million tonnes of grain under tarpaulin in the grainbowl states of Punjab and Haryana.

Stocks of rice, too, at 26 million tonnes, are more than double the target of 12.2 million and set to soar as forecasts of normal monsoon rainfall from June will help the crop bounce back from a 14% fall after last year’s drought.

Should the report above excite us?

The country’s inflation rate is still in double digits. Almost all state government find itself helpless in stopping the hunger deaths of the people of the BPL category and destitute. The centre takes a course of shifting the responsibility to the state governments.

Are not the food shortages in the country only its mismanagement? Why can’t the basic priciples of inventory management such as FIFO be applied?

Let the government or FCI announce a policy to outsource the task of storage to the private enterprises. There will be hundreds and thousands of takers of the business.

While the grains in millions of tones are kept in open to get spoiled, a large number of abandoned warehouses and factory sheds and other buildings in almost every part of the country remain unutilized. The right hand doesn’t know what is there in left hand.

Why should not the scientists and entrepreneurs innovate and manufacture better bags that can keep the grains in it safe and protected from rain?

Is it not criminal to waste and spoil grains when millions of hungry people are going to sleep without food?

Should not the UPA-II government reviewing its performance of the first year in power in its second inning consider the situation as one of its biggest failure?

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